Social Movements and the Politics of Bureaucratic Rights Enforcement: Insights from the Allocation of Disability Rights in France
Law and Social Inquiry - Journal of the American Bar Foundation
US : John Wiley & Sons
450 - 478 p.
rights allocation, rights mobilization
While research on legal mobilization shows how social movements contribute to the definition and implementation of rights, it remains excessively centered on litigation to the detriment of administrative rights enforcement. This article maps out how street-level bureaucracies impact rights enforcement by distinguishing between allocation, access, and process, and analyzes how social movements intervene in these three aspects. It then focuses on allocation, using the case of French disability policy to analyze the forms of advocacy deployed by movement actors who take part in the rights allocation process at the local level. The article argues that conformity to institutional norms derives not so much from a pressure to conform as from the knowledge and experience of the limited means locally available to make rights effective. Further, it shows how advocacy is reframed from the defense of individual claims to a role of scrutiny and control of the bureaucratic allocation of rights.